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Will Reuters’ Digital TV Service Appeal to the Masses?

reuterstvComing early next year is a digital-only service fit for mobile consumers called Reuters.TV, reported AdAge. The news broadcasts, available initially on iPhones and iPads and due in early 2015, are to be personalized depending on who’s watching and what he/she prefers in terms of length and news interests. Edited segments served to the viewer may also vary according to the consumer’s location in the country, thanks to an algorithmic approach from Reuters.

This step for the news company indicates what we have seen play out consistently in the past few years — TV news doesn’t have the audience or appeal it did during the pre-digital era. While mobile devices have made a way for TV shows to spread in popularity, increase engagement and earn big ad dollars, the television news industry hasn’t been able to translate success from the small screen to the even smaller screen.

As Isaac Showman, who will be the managing director of Reuters.TV, told AdAge, the desired audience for the service is “educated professionals between the ages of 27 and 47, many of whom have stopped watching traditional TV.”

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BuzzFeed Will Focus on Video, Rethink Traffic Partner Program

BuzzFeed_BadgesLast Friday BuzzFeed announced it would wind down its traffic partner network in order to focus more on video.

Reported Quartz’ John McDuling, a note to network participants read:

BuzzFeed has decided to wind down its existing partner network over the coming months. The partner network was an extremely valuable product for us and for partners but its place has changed as the industry has evolved and BuzzFeed has grown into a fully staffed, global news and entertainment organization over the last few years.

BuzzFeed, despite its success, is an anomaly and is still trying to decipher a path to long-term viability. A weird mix of strong investigative reporting and silly lists, its quirk is undeniable, as many of its content partners and readers can probably attest. Still, there’s no way it could be a bad thing to let BuzzFeed refer web traffic to you, no matter what kind of content they’re initially consuming on the viral site.

By hosting links and top headlines from a group of 200 publishers on the BuzzFeed site and a Fre.sh platform, those organizations got the benefit of BuzzFeed traffic and demographics while BuzzFeed received a trove of data about what kinds of other news its readers enjoyed, and how they navigated other pubs’ sites, so they could better plan their own content, McDuling, a corporate reporter, explained.

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From the Tow Center: Research Indicates Video News Is Always Growing, Changing

TowCenterColumbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism is producing some important research on upcoming trends in online media, like news video, sensor journalism and longform.

Its most recently released report, “Video Now: The Form, Cost, and Effect of Video Journalism,” highlights the video strategies of popular digitally native publishers like Mashable and NowThis News, longform outfits including Vice Media and Frontline PBS, and legacy papers like the Washington Post and the Chicago Sun-Times, over a five-month period. More than 50 newsrooms were examined during the research for this paper.

Study facilitator and assistant professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, Duy Linh Tu set out to answer three main questions:

  • How do news organizations define video?
  • How do they produce video?
  • What is their return on investment? (ROI)

Now for what Linh Tu found: metrics across newsrooms aren’t very reliable. Typical measurements like plays and page views “are inconsistently measured across organizations,” so the report features mostly editor interviews rather than sheer numbers. The answer to digital video is that there is no answer — at least not now. Publishers are finding it difficult to capitalize on this new medium while bringing in the advertising support they need to produce quality content. In other words, there isn’t a ton of data out there on video ROI that inspires trust in marketers with limited budgets.

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Miami Herald Wins April Sidney Award For Project On Abused FL Kids

 

photo via cpexecutive.com

photo via cpexecutive.com

Journalists Carol Marbin Miller and Audra D.S. Burch of the Miami Herald won the April Sidney Award for “Innocents Lost“, an investigative multi-media package that spotlighted more than 400 Florida children who died due to abuse or neglect even after the state’s child protection authorities confirmed mistreatment at home yet failed to act.

Started in 2009, the Sidney Award is given monthly to honor outstanding socially-conscious, investigative journalism that encourages social and economic justice. Read more

The CIR Is On It: Telling the Story of Solitary Confinement for Teens Over, and Over, and Over Again

CIR the boxThis week, the Center for Investigative Reporting released a print story, a short animation, and a photo essay about solitary confinement for adolescents in the U.S. prison system. That’s in addition to a NewsHour and a public radio piece released last month and to a yet unreleased half hour documentary and graphic novel. By the end of the month, there will be around 10 pieces of the adolescent solitary confinement story circling you on one form of media or another.

It’s enough to make you rethink what you’ve been reporting on all year. CIR reporters Daffodil Altan and Trey Bundy started over a year ago trying to gain access into prisons and report on conditions for teens. Altan says that the access issues surrounding the story seemed “almost insurmountable” at a certain point. Instead of being deterred, they pressed on and worked on thinking of different ways to handle the content. Says Altan:

We started of thinking of ways to tell the story even though we were dealing with essentially invisible sights. That’s  where the idea for the animation came up. We had met this very compelling young man in New York who told us about his experience at Rikers very powerfully and we had all this tape of him…we decided to try to take 3 hours of interview and see if we could carve that into something smaller and with a narrative arc.

And so the reporting team of two or three turned into a team of somewhere around 15-20, according to Bundy. Bundy says that as they are reporting they’re “always having conversations about what else we can do besides what we’ve already settled on.” In this case, there was a written story in mind, with photos to boot. But a colleague who acts as a liaison between the CIR and KQED “heard radio all over this,” says Bundy. When New York State started talking about banning the practice of solitary confinement for teenagers, NewsHour suddenly wanted the story sooner. “That wasn’t always supposed to be the first piece that was released on this,” Bundy adds. Having the story told across platforms means you reach more people. Says Bundy, “There’s some overlap between people who listen to public radio or watch NewsHour, or read Medium, but it’s not total overlap. The benefit of having multiple platforms is that you are going to catch multiple, different types of audiences, hopefully.”

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